Washington Peace Conference Facts

February 4, 1861 - February 27, 1861

Key facts about the Washington Peace Conference.

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Also known as:

  • Washington Peace Convention

Date:

  • February 4, 1861 – February 27, 1861

Location:

  • Willards’ Concert Hall, adjacent to the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Notable participants:

  • Virginia Governor John Letcher, former U.S. President John Tyler

Significance:

  • Twenty-one states (fourteen free and seven slave-holding) participated in the Washington Peace Conference, and thirteen states did not.
  • States that participated in the Washington Peace Conference were Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.
  • States that did not participate in the Washington Peace Conference were the seven states from the Deep South that had already seceded from the Union (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas), along with Arkansas, California, Michigan Minnesota, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
  • Because many of the delegates who represented their states at the Washington Peace Conference were elderly men who qualified as senior statesmen, critics referred to it as the “Old Gentleman’s Convention.”
  • On the first day of the Washington Peace Conference, the delegates chose John C. Wright of Ohio to serve as president pro tem and established a committee on organization.
  • The second day of the Washington Peace Conference the delegates selected former U.S. President Tyler as president of the convention and Crafts J. Wright as secretary.
  • During meetings on February 24 and 25, delegates to the Washington Peace Conference were unsuccessful in attempts to convince President-elect Lincoln to support their compromise measures.
  • On February 27, the delegates to the Washington Peace Conference narrowly adopted a series of recommendations in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment similar to the Crittenden Compromise, (which the Senate had rejected on January 16, 1861).
  • The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly defeated the constitutional amendment proposed by the Washington peace Conference.
  • The U. S. House of representatives refused to even entertain the constitutional amendment proposed by the Washington Peace Conference.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Washington Peace Conference Facts
  • Coverage February 4, 1861 - February 27, 1861
  • Author
  • Keywords washington peace conference
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update February 17, 2021